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Engineers at KAIST's MAKinteract Labhave developed the SchemaBoard, an enhanced breadboard that incorporates software-controlled visual highlighting of specific pin rows. It supports circuit assembly tasks, including the correct placement of components and inspection of electrical nets on the breadboard. The system also characterizes the mapping between the semantic representations seen in schematic diagrams and the arrangements of components, wires, pins, and nets that complete the actual circuits. This makes it quicker and easier to inspect and assemble circuits on breadboards.
SchemaBoard works by internally computing the location of the component in a schematic diagram and maps them to the rows on a breadboard. It also provides a highlighting feature, allowing the user to visualize a component's location on the physical breadboard. When a user touches a component or pin of the schematics, SchemaBoard illuminates the breadboard's corresponding rows. It shows component locations, which includes blinking to indicate the first pin for ICs and the negative pin for polarized components like capacitors, diodes, or LEDs. Users are able to identify the components and wires' location and orientation before they're placed.
The SchemaBoard operates in a manual mode and guide mode, which can be switched at any time by pressing the toggle button. The manual mode enables users to inspect the components and nets' location. The mapping between the schematic and component location on the breadboard can even be changed by dragging the component's graphical representation to a new location on a virtual breadboard. Meanwhile, the guide mode presents a user with step-by-step circuit assembly instructions for every element of a circuit.
The team plans on improving the prototype by using full-size breadboards and RGB LEDs with multiple blinking patterns to pass on more information about nets or components. Additionally, placing an LED at each hole of the breadboard could indicate certain positions in the rows for more detailed instructions.